A school supposedly devoted to helping troubled teens was closed in Costa Rica by the government amidst allegations of “severe physical and mental abuse,” reports the National Post.

Such schools often locate their facilities outside the United States to avoid regulation, but most of their students come from the United States and Canada.

Desperate parents, often persuaded through school run seminars, send their kids at great expense hoping for a touted turn-around in behavior.

Minor children are often brought in by force and may even be sedated with drugs to subdue them during their initial entry.

Former students have described such schools as virtual “prisons” where they were bullied, humiliated and at times physically abused.

Some critics say such facilities often employ extreme environmental control and coercive persuasion techniques not unlike destructive cults to “brainwash” participants.

Lawsuits and even criminal charges have swirled around what many call the “teen boot camp” industry.


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